ViciBox v.9.0 and failing to reboot after initial install

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Moderators: enjay, williamconley, Staydog, mflorell, MJCoate, mcargile, Kumba

ViciBox v.9.0 and failing to reboot after initial install

Postby Kumba » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:52 am

So following some weirdness with installing on a customers new Dell server, I bought a Dell T140 to do some testing. This servers firmware is shared with the R140, R240, and T340. The goal was to figure out why Dells and hopefully other brands like some HP servers wont boot/install properly.

This is where things got weird. Initially the server would not even see our USB thumb drive to boot or install. We had to go into the motherboard settings and enable UEFI booting in addition to the BIOS/CSM methods. Once we did that the server would boot from the USB drive, but would not reboot properly. Once we then disabled UEFI booting the server would then, magically, boot from the internal drive just fine.

Then things got weirder. In order to verify the results, we factory-reset the motherboard's firmware and tried again. We could not recreate the initial out-of-the-box behavior. The server would see the USB thumb drive, install vicibox, and reboot off the internal drive just fine regardless of the UEFI setting.

So... my prevailing theory is that the servers might get shipped with some sort of bugged motherboard firmware settings. The mere act of enabling and disabled UEFI booting in the motherboard seems to have fixed something that I can't duplicate even with a factory reset. So if you are having problems installing ViciBox or getting it to reboot after installing, I would try testing with UEFI booting turned on and then maybe back off. I wish I had something more in-depth and intelligent to add, but whatever is going wrong seems to be a some sort of initial motherboard setting from the factory.

If anyone wants to do your own experiments and finds something, feel free to reply back to this thread so others can benefit from it. The issue seems to present mostly on Dells, although I have ran into an HP server or two that had a similar issue. SuperMicro and Gigabyte servers pretty much seem to just work. Other server vendors and brands I can't comment on as I don't normally see much outside of SuperMicro, Dell, and some HP. I've only ran into 1 Gigabyte server that was running ViciBox but it seemed to run just fine.

However, if anyone wants to ship us free hardware to test with, we won't say no. :)
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Re: ViciBox v.9.0 and failing to reboot after initial instal

Postby williamconley » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:22 pm

I wonder if the UEFI change "Forced" another value to change, and once changed it stays that way and allows the boot? Of course, that would be something that isn't reset by a "back to OEM" setting, so Yep ... bug. lol

Did you stop at UEFI? Had you changed all other options already? UEFI and associated boot options have always been arcane.

But it would NOT surprise me at all to find out that they set ONE value to NONfactory before shipping to clients.

I also wonder if Factory Reset (without the previous UEFI change) would also work, meaning that it was in fact not a bug, but someone sets this on porpoise. Maybe colocation facility security to avoid intrusion.
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